One of the great things about Sonar is actually all the things that go on during the week away from the main goings on. One such excellent occasion to attend is Loveland Barcelona, put on by Contrast Agency and global events brand FACT. It is a two day affair with two stages offering a super cool selection of sounds.
The place for the action is Port Forum, a great setting that is down by the water. As well as a vast concrete playground where the action takes place, the backdrop is made up of beautiful and expensive yachts as well as lots of lush green grassland. Of course, making it all the better is the fact the sun beams down on proceedings and keeps everyone smiling.
Although the setting is raw and industrial, palm trees and raised decking offer some great comforts and mean you have everything you need for a proper party. More than 30 artists and 15 live performers all play, so we can’t review them all, but what we did see will stick long in the memory. With huge LED screens adding some crazy colour to proceedings, the first day is a take over by Drumcode. Adam Beyer’s Swedish techno label is the best in the world right now and all the major players turned out. Adam Beyer himself goes for a high-pressure set of loopy drums that send people wild. UK stars Dense & Pika keep things hard and tough with there latest release TEX doing some really damage and Italians Enrico Sangiuliano, Luigi Madonna and Marco Faraone all brought their silky skills to the buttons.
Pan-Pot and Paul Ritch kept things fresh and more from the second stage had Bart Skils, Nick Curly whos sultry productions were perfect for the Barcelona settings, Onno, Paride Saracini, Reset Robot, Tiger Stripes and wAFF all bring the heat. wAFF in particular played harder than usual and the crowd, made up of real techno lovers from across the planet, lapped it up. Tracks like F-Projekt – Party People and his own track Flip back had hands raised aloft.
The second day is just as special and non-stop, with the quality acts coming one after the other. Exploding smoke cannons and spectacular lights and lasers added to the intensity as the likes of the legendary Audion who played a number of tracks from his new record, Gabriel Ananda and Innervisions man Henrik Schwarz all took us on a real musical journey. Henrik as ever stole the show, getting best response from Eye Nyam Nam ‘A’ Mensuro edit, which truly fit the moment.
Bulgarian KiNK did his ridiculous live show and kept us all sweating, it is easy to see how he has built such a fearsome reputation and UK stalwart Vince Watson provided some quality old school styles. French pranksters dOP was making waves, particularly with the massive new track, ‘Email From A Beetle.’ With too many more to mention heading up the stages at various points and kept us locked by constantly switching up the vibes. Loveland is one of the essential things to do if you head to Sonar, and it keeps getting better each year.